If you have a sizeable cavity or extensive damage to your tooth, you probably need a crown. While traditional lab-created crowns are still available, more and more dental patients now prefer a CEREC same day crown. CEREC stands for both Ceramic Reconstruction and Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, depending on who you ask. Regardless, the acronym stands for a high-quality same day tooth restoration that has revolutionized dentistry. Here are 5 reasons to choose CEREC.
A traditional crown involves at least two appointments with a wait of days or even weeks in between. Any necessary repair work and preparation is performed at the first appointment, and impressions of your teeth are made. You are generally given a temporary crown to wear while you wait, and then you make your next appointment for whenever your permanent crown will be finished. You must then make a separate trip to the dentist’s office to have the crown placed.
With CEREC technology, your tooth is prepared as normal. Then digital technology sends impressions of your teeth directly to a special computer, where your dentist uses them to create a 3-D CAD (computer aided design) model of your finished crown. Finally, the model is sent to an in-office milling machine that uses a block of color-matched porcelain to create your new crown. The crown is then placed in your mouth, with no need to return for a second appointment.
Unlike traditional porcelain over metal crowns, CEREC crowns are made entirely of porcelain. The material is strong, durable, and stain resistant. A CEREC crown is also more likely to fit perfectly, because the CAD design process is more accurate than traditional impressions. The porcelain is chemically bonded to your tooth, and is a biocompatible material that mirrors the tooth’s natural composition. The result is a tooth that is approximately 18 percent stronger than one restored with a traditional crown. In addition, you will not have to endure weeks of wearing a temporary crown, which can come loose and be difficult to chew with.
3. Digital Impressions
Digital impressions are not only more accurate than traditional impressions, but they are significantly more comfortable. If you have ever had old-fashioned impressions, you know that the impression material is gooey and can induce a gag reflex, and removing the hardened material from your mouth can take some real effort. Digital impressions use an intraoral camera, saving you from the sticky, gooey process.
4. Preserved Tooth Structure
The less tooth structure that is removed, the stronger the final restoration will be. CEREC same day crowns can preserve significantly more of the tooth enamel than traditional crowns. This means that you are less likely to experience complete tooth failure should you develop decay beneath the crown. Of course, it remains important to seek regular dental care, including twice a year cleanings, so that any issues are caught immediately.
Traditional porcelain over metal crowns are reasonably aesthetic, but it is difficult to precisely match the details of natural tooth enamel. In addition, many people find that a porcelain over metal crown leaves a thin line of metal exposed along the gum line, further decreasing the aesthetics. Because a CEREC same day crown is fabricated entirely out of porcelain, it can more precisely mirror the look of a natural tooth. There is also no risk of an unusual-looking line along the gums.
While CEREC is most often used for crowns, your dentist is also able to fabricate other restorations with the same technology. If you need inlays or onlays, they can also be created in just one appointment. CEREC technology is not right for everyone, but it is quickly becoming the treatment of choice for a wide variety of dental restorations. Ask your dentist whether it is the best choice for you.
Family Dental Care of Bellevue provides quality dental care to patients and their families, and has been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. Call us today at 425-643-5778 to learn how we can help improve your smile.